This paper reviews key literature from several disciplinary and theoretical perspectives in exploring the relationship between various forms of academic failure in. delinquency because of frustration with their failure in school. Control theory, as articulated by Hirschi (), proposes that social relations (bonds) between an. Download Citation on ResearchGate | The relationship between school failure and delinquent behavior [microform] / | Project (M.A., Education (Educational.
Prior to this study, there had been little research on whether delinquency and academic achievement were associated reciprocally. Few studies have looked at this mutual relationship before. The authors note that stronger school attachments, such as improved teacher-student interactions and participation in school-sponsored activities, not only decrease the likelihood of delinquency, but also lead to greater commitment to school-based goals i.
There are many ways for students to invest in their futures to decrease the likelihood of delinquency, but higher grades strengthen the perceived attachments to schools most notably and thus act as the key tether between students and school.
The results, using regression analysis, provide evidence that academic achievement is associated with less delinquent behavior over time, as well as with higher school attainment. Ultimately, they conclude that students who perform better are more likely to finish school than those who have lower grades.
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They also note that males are more likely to be delinquent than females, but also tend to have a higher school attachment. Through the testing of the model and analysis, there is only partial support for interactional theory as the effects of delinquency are limited to an attenuating effect on subsequent school attachment — delinquency does not directly influence academic achievement. While it is not a definitive conclusion that poor school performance spurs delinquency, or just that there is some other factor about juvenile delinquents that leads them to underperform in school, there are key features that define this relationship link.
Juvenile delinquency is seen to increase on average with poor school performance. Past research has attributed this link to major factors, including poor grades, failing grade levels, poor school environment, poor student-teacher relationships, truancy, negative peer relationships, and early drop-out from school. Other strongly associated factors include poor social bonds with family and school influencers, poor community and school resources, learning and attention deficiencies, low self-esteem, low self-control, and higher than normal aggressive actions and tendencies.
Explanations In considering the key factors that link and relate poor academic performance and delinquency, there have been several theories applied to aid in understanding how this relationship may exist. Strain theory posits that juveniles turn to crime for tangible and esteem laden rewards that fall short from school-related performance. Thus, when students do not receive the gratification and rewards they expect from good school performance, they turn to crime to achieve happiness, money, material goods, and attention.
Control theory presents information that normal controlling influences of family members and school officials such as teachers have weak bonds with poor performing students. Several factors linked to delinquency, aggression, and violence have been identified.
For example, research has found that verbal and reading deficits are linked to victimization both inside and outside Page 14 Share Cite Suggested Citation: Delinquent peer associations may also be a consequence of school failure when a student comes to reject academic achievement and prosocial behavior as legitimate goals and values.
The Relationship Between Academic Performance & Delinquency
Rolf Loeber, of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, cautioned that the relationship between delinquency and school performance should not be oversimplified. It may be that progression from delinquent behavior to school failure is contingent on other factors, since not every offending juvenile experiences school failure and not every failing student commits offenses.
In addition, not every act of delinquency affects school performance in the same way. The seriousness of delinquent behavior may determine whether and to what extent school performance suffers. It appears that poor school performance is a more severe problem among serious violent delinquents.
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In a review of the literature on the predictors of youth violence, Hawkins and his colleagues concluded that serious and violent delinquents had more school-related problems e. Inversely, studies have found that students who do not perform well academically are more likely to be delinquent.
The Cambridge Study on Delinquent Development and the Pittsburgh Youth Study have both found that low school achievement predicts adolescent delinquency Maguin and Loeber, In a meta-analysis of studies that examined the relationship between academic performance and delinquency and interventions designed to improve school achievement and reduce offending, Maguin and Loeber found that poor school performance was related to the frequency of delinquent offending, the seriousness of offenses, and persistence in delinquency offending.
There are, however, methodological issues that limit study findings.
Page 15 Share Cite Suggested Citation: While time limitations did not allow for an exhaustive review of the relevant research at the workshop, participants were able to discuss the important role that peers play in the relationship between delinquency and poor school performance. That peers exercise influence on the development of delinquent behavior is a common perception among researchers. Workshop participants discussed three issues related to the effects of peers on delinquency: Guided counseling programs, for example, have been mandated in some states.
These programs are often administered to students in groups. As part of a study designed to measure and code interactions among teenage boys assembled to discuss problems in their relationships with parents and peers, Dishion and his colleagues found that interactions among the boys were influenced by the content of their conversations. Conversation was classified into two categories: Researchers observed that the nonverbal reactions to rule-breaking and norm-accepting topics and activities communicated either positive or negative reinforcement for the associated behavior Dishion et al.
Among nondelinquent dyads, normative talk led to positive reinforcement in the form of laughter. Alternatively, in dyads in which the members had some experience with delinquency, normative talk failed to elicit a positive response; only rule-breaking talk received positive feedback.
The researchers concluded from this study that delinquent peer groups are organized around rule-breaking talk Dishion et al. These findings have been replicated among delinquent and nondelin- Page 16 Share Cite Suggested Citation: Although adolescent girls differed from adolescent boys in terms of the topics they discussed and the rules they broke, the deviancy training process was similar. At the workshop, Dishion argued that these findings point toward needed changes in school policy.One of the Most Dangerous Schools in America - A Hidden America with Diane Sawyer (World News)
If it is the case that deviant peers exert a strong influence on the development of delinquent behavior, one way to discourage this is to reintegrate at-risk children and adolescents into the educational mainstream.
By doing this, children who would traditionally be grouped together because of problem behavior or school failure would benefit from the prosocial influence of peers who exhibit more normative conduct. Research findings in this area are contested, however, and mechanisms through which peer rejection leads to delinquency are not at all clear. Aggression has been suggested to explain the connection between peer rejection and delinquency.
Participants noted that it is equally reasonable that aggression leads to peer rejection as it is that peer rejection leads to aggression.